83: Cashiers and College

Psalms 39:4-5 “Show me, O L ord, my life's end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting is my life.
You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Each man's life is but a breath.”

 I was buying some office supplies with a credit card the other day, and the cashier asked to see my I.D. I’ve always thought that was a good idea since most cashiers are not trained handwriting analysts. Just once I’d like to hear, “I’m sorry sir, but the little loop on the ‘S’ is open in this signature, and closed in this one. We’ll have to take you to jail.” Anyway, I politely obliged, and showed her my I.D. You’ve probably already guessed that my other cashier pet peeve is that they never look at the picture on the I.D. (“I’m sorry, sir. In this picture you have a mole on the right side of your nose, but in real life it’s on the left.” Doesn’t happen, does it?) Anyway, this particular cashier was sharper than most, and carefully held my driver’s license up for careful scrutiny. “Well, the hair color is not the same, but I guess it’s you.” I was caught a little off guard and had already wished her a good day before I realized that she was mocking my gray hair.

Time flies by, doesn’t it? Our thirteen-year-old has been taking some classes at the local middle school. Since we are just entering into the public school environment, we have not been around a lot of groups of parents our age. We’ve been a little shocked to discover that our peers are really looking old. They don’t look like college students any more. They look like parents—my parents. We’re having a hard time grasping the reality that college freshmen are closer in age to our 11-week-old baby than they are to us.

It’s good to stop and take inventory of our lives once in a while. It’s also good to stop and take inventory of our kids’ lives on occasion. Oftentimes it’s the things that matter the most to us that get bumped. Are you reading the Bible with your kids everyday to develop that habit in your lives, and to equip them with a knowledge of Scripture? Are you memorizing with them? Are you demonstrating unconditional love to them? Do you speak to them with the same respect you’d grant to someone else’s kids? Are you faithfully teaching and training them daily to prepare them for life? Are you more committed to spiritual disciplines than you are to them getting their homework, exercise, or music practice done? These daily disciplines, and others, are often what separate desperate parents from confident ones. Each day we move closer to the inevitable day when we get a hurried hug and kiss and the door closes behind them as they head off to college. We need to make our time now count.


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